Today’s post is brought to you by the Sign of the Dollar. Or the Dirham. Or whatever native currency you feel comfortable with.
If you spend a little time looking around the net, you’ll find a few forums where expat hires ask for something like a reality check on a salary package (indeed, one post I dug up was titled something like *Need a reality check on a salary offer*). And why not? It’s easy enough to figure out what the cost of living is halfway around the world, but if you’re like me you probably want to know where your offer falls in the pecking order. So here we go. (I’ve updated these with new information found through 5 June, and will continue to do so as I find references to salary packages on the forums.)
Just yesterday, a new member of Dave’s ESL Cafe asked for comments on his/her 10,000 AED/month salary at the International School of Creative Sciences (I myself have not yet heard of that one). The poster has a PGCE (Brit-speak for post-graduate certificate in education). Click here for the comments.
Got that? ’10K is low.’ ‘Don’t settle for less than 15K plus the usual benefits.’ ’10K is taking the piss.’
Ok, so the ISCS maybe needs to get a little more creative with its salary packages.
Let’s get back to the ‘plus the usual benefits’ phrase for just a minute. Here in the UAE, that translates as ‘plus FREE housing, round-trip tickets to the home country for the employee and family, health insurance for the whole family, schooling allowances for children (usually capped at a certain amount), and perhaps a relocation allowance.’ This is, in fact, a fairly standard package. And that 15K plus the usual benefits is what the crowd over at Dave’s is claiming to be the norm…a crowd with master’s degrees.
Here are a few corroborating quotes (all figures are in UAE dirhams):
For KUSTAR (Sharjah campus EFL lecturers):
Basic package is 15,000 + housing which for a family is about 9,000 per month, education allowance of 80K (40K max per child) and tickets home. (another poster mentions that this is the same package offered at the high school level at IAT).
For HCT (Dubai non-teaching jobs):
18,715 AED per month plus standard accomodation, insurance, flights home, vacation, 30,000 AED relocation, etc.
For HCT (various locations, ESL instructors):
11,000 AED per month and SHARED accomodation. [my emphasis]
For IAT (Abu Dhabi, ESL instructors [I assume]):
12,000 to 15,000 basic with 11,800 housing…just shy of 25,000 a month.
For Zayed University (Asst. Professor, and take note that Zayed provides housing and the usual other benefits):
…a monthly salary of 17000…
For HCT (various locations, ESL instructors [I assume]):
Have hear [sic] of three folks starting at over 18,000 AED a month with zero experience at the tertiary level…
For KUSTAR (Abu Dhabi, Asst. Prof, Physics):
other allowances: 20/month
kids education: up to 54 k/ year
(No housing proved [sic] by the univ. of course)
For KUSTAR (Sharjah, Asst. Prof, Engineering):
15.5k basic salary
plus medical and flights benefits
For The Petroleum Institute (ESL teachers with MAs – note the date):
In 2002, PI salaries for EFL people were pretty much Dh 15,000 across the board, with a furniture allowance of Dh. 44,000.
For Zayed University (ESL teachers with MAs):
I’d say that you should be looking at 13-17,000 Dhs (US$3500-4500) depending on whether your experience is pre or post MA and how closely your experience matches their program. The package will also include housing, a nice furniture allowance, flights, gratuity, medical… the usual. Housing is normally a two-bedroom flat is a new or nearly new building. You will have to search long and hard here to find any teachers complaining here about the conditions.
And Bardsley (2009) reports the following in The National’s story about encouraging Emiratis to become academics:
Typically an assistant professor at a government university earns about Dh25,000 (US$6,800) a month, while a full professor may earn more than double this.
Interesting reading, don’t you think?
Various authors. Various dates. Dave’s ESL Café (United Arab Emirates forum). Retrieved (13 May 2010) from http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=30.
Bardsley, D. 22 Dec 2009. Emiratis encouraged to become Academics. The National. Retrieved (12 May 2009) from http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091223/NATIONAL/712229874/1010/rss</p>